Thornton High School students returning from summer break came back to the school’s newest addition — a school-based health clinic that was completed over the summer.
Students have been involved in the creation of the clinic, including …
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Students have been involved in the creation of the clinic, including helping choose paint and carpet colors, and student artwork will adorn the walls of the space, which was designed specifically with students’ needs in mind.
“We’ve really tried to address all the students’ needs, and listened to what they want as well,” said Devra Fregin, director of practice management for Kids First Health Care, a Commerce City-based nonprofit that runs the clinic.
Students and faculty will have the chance to tour the facility throughout the next few weeks, and an official ribbon-cutting will be held Wednesday, Sept. 13 from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m.
Next, students will have the opportunity to choose a name for their clinic.
“We are working on the final punch list,” Fregin said, with a hope of starting to provide care this week.
The clinic is currently staffed with a full-time nurse practitioner and two medical assistants, and Fregin said they are looking to add a behavioral health specialist to the team in the near future. All staff members are bilingual, and there is a translation line available as well.
The idea for the clinic came through the Student Engagement Initiatives, a student-led program. It’s fitting, Fregin said, because the clinic is all about the students.
“We know that most teenagers are not taking an active part in their health, or even getting regular checkups, unless they are playing sports. School is the most important thing to most teens, and we want to provide them with a safe, comfortable place they can come to get care and ask questions,” said Fregin.
Students of Thornton High and Bollman Technical can be seen for a variety of reasons, including checkups, immunizations, illness and injuries.
Education is also a big role that will be filled by clinic staff, and Fregin hopes student involvement will help benefit all students. The student-run Voicing Our Imperative Health Concerns Everyday group, or VOIHCE, will address issues of concern specific to students in the school and will participate in regular informational meetings.
“The VOIHCE students will communicate and share information with other students, and also let us know what the students would like to learn more about. They can activate awareness campaigns that address health concerns or issues for young people,” said Fregin.
There is no out-of-pocket cost to students for treatment at the clinic, which will be open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. every school day.
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